Literary Development Center

The Literary Development Center at Mark Twain Elementary is a unique language arts lab. Every classroom teacher and his/her students rotate through the Center in two week blocks to learn reading and writing strategies and are given opportunities to practice them in authentic activities. Each lesson is planned based on each teachers’ own professional growth needs and on the class’ instructional needs.

Students participate in real life reading-writing units that integrate many curriculum areas simultaneously. Because the LDC teachers see each student starting in kindergarten and continuing through the 5th grade, learning becomes more individualized as student progress is monitored from grade to grade. On-going reading and writing conferences with students, and anecdotal grading, information is shared and instruction is fine tuned for each child. The teachers’ observations are an invaluable tool throughout the child’s elementary experience and Mark Twain. Teachers are in involved not only in their traditional role of instructor, but as a learner and a researcher as well.

The LDC class is a “protected time” to observe children in an active learning setting, where the teacher-student ratio is cut in half. It is the perfect opportunity for the teachers to see and participate in using new teaching strategies. It is an ongoing professional development model that builds a strong sense of community between students and teachers. It has become a “safe place” for all involved to take the “risks” that are necessary for academic and professional growth.

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